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The Catalyst Prime Universe faces extinction in Gail Simone's Seven Days
Two years after the dawn of superheroes in the Catalyst Prime Universe, Lion Forge heroes like Noble, Quincredible, Accell, and Summit are facing a world-ending threat that will require each to work together if they hope to survive. Seven Days marks the first line-wide event for the Catalyst Prime Universe since its launch in 2016 and it's centered around one question: If you had seven days until the world ended, what would you do?
On October 2, writer Gail Simone and artists José Luís, Jonas Trindade, and Michelle Madsen will answer that question as the heroes of the Catalyst Prime try to save the world. In the first issue, CPU heroes begin to encounter mysterious figures named the Obsidian Men, who start popping up all over the Earth. When their galactic leader arrives on Earth to give everyone one week to prepare for death, it's up to heroes like Noble, Astonisher, Summit, and Incidentals to avert extinction.
According to Simone, the being's message is simple.
"My planet is dead. I want your planet and I'm taking it for myself. I'm annihilating everything on this planet to recreate it as I see," she paraphrases. "But, I'm not a complete monster, so you'll have seven days to do whatever you need to do. Say your goodbyes, utter your last wishes, but after seven days it's all gone."
Catalyst Prime Universe editor Desiree Rodriguez and CPU "superhero guru" and showrunner Gail Simone spoke with SYFY WIRE about what Catalyst Prime fans can expect going into Seven Days, what it's like creating a major event from scratch, and how the CPU could continue moving forward.
According to Rodriguez, organizing all of the moving parts in the Catalyst Prime Universe was daunting as she readied for Seven Days.
"It hasn't been an easy ride, there's a lot of moving parts to the universe and a lot of levels you have to go through before decisions can be made," she says. "It can be very challenging because my job is to be the point of contact for every other department: production, marketing, sales, talent, upper management, and Gail Simone. I'm editing a majority of the titles but I'm also coordinating with all these different departments so my days are never dull."
As for the CPU heroes, Rodriguez says, they're all converging and learning about each other in Seven Days. For the most part, many of the world's superheroes have only met tangentially up to this point.
"Quincredible, for example, has looked up to Noble for a while now in his story, but now he's going to get the chance to fight alongside him," Rodriguez teases. "Then you have characters like Astrid and Lorena Payan who have a very complicated relationship — since Lorena is so morally ambiguous — who have to work together because what's happening is so much bigger than the individual."
Rodriguez says there have been tidbits throughout all seven original Catalyst Prime titles (especially in Astonisher, Incidentals, and Summit) of an alien force working behind the scenes. Now that the big bad has arrived, each of the heroes has to work side by side.
"You have heroes like Accel who have always struggled with their own self-interests versus being a hero who has to be a hero or the world will end," she says.
Simone has some interesting things planned for the seven-issue series. With help from designer Chris Batista, Simone created a new character named Camila Canales, a Puerto Rican journalist who investigates the happenings behind our alien threat Khrelan.
"What's so cool about working with Gail is she's so open to collaboration," Rodriguez says. "Originally Camila's last name was Cruz, but I felt that was "every Latinx character has the last name Cruz" trope, so I suggested Canales after a real Puerto Rican politician named Blanca Canales."
For Simone, it was equally important to explore what would happen to everyday people under extreme circumstances like those in Seven Days.
"Do first responders go to work? Do border patrol agents show up? Do people go up in towers and start shooting? Do they go into bunker? What happens? Are there people that will try to help? Will it be possible to save the world at all?" she says.
In May, Simone told SYFY WIRE that all of the Catalyst Prime books (Summit, Noble, Accell, Quincredible, Superb, Kino, Astonisher, and Incidentals) will be put on pause once Seven Days starts in October to provide an entry point for new readers.
There are also a few new characters set to make their entrance during Seven Days, including Shimmer, Moonrise, Ember, and Evergreen.
"Shimmer and Moonrise designed were shared on the Catalyst Prime twitter and done by Sara Alfageeh, while Ember and Evergreen were designed by Little Corvus," Rodriguez explains. "These are new heroes to the universe, and the things we have planned for them post-Seven Days are beginning to shape up behind the scenes."
After Catalyst Prime's main event, Lionforge is set to release genre books following the stories of the CPU heroes. Rodriguez said one of the goals that they discussed when Gail was brought on was making books more genre-focused, in the process dipping into untapped genres like fantasy, and romance to combine them with superhero stuff.
Books like Superb and Quincredible, for example, will be targeted at teens or the young adult audience. But, Rodriguez says, she's most excited about what comes after Seven Days.
"Alex Pakandel is returning as the writer for Kino and his plans for post-Seven Days are fantastic, very Arthurian and a bit dark. Amy Chu is returning for Summit along with a new co-writer and they have this amazing subplot worked out starring Summit's cat that I think readers will enjoy," she says. "Rodney Barnes is returning as well for Quincredible and the story gets, we'll say spooky. Gail also has some really fun ideas for some crossovers and one-shots in the line that we're plotting out now."
Seven Days will debut on October 2.